We’ve already talked about how to format and compress your website’s images, but it takes more than that to optimize them for Google image search. Today I want to talk about the different things you need to focus on if your images to start ranking on image search.
Use Descriptive File Names
Google’s own Image Publishing Guidelines mention the importance of file names. Using descriptive file names instead of default or randomly generated ones (e.g. truelogic-donation-boxes.png instead of 20131122_180429.png) gives Google an idea what the photos are about. Google also uses file names as the image’s snippet if they can’t find suitable text on the page the image is displayed on.
Write Better Alt Tags
An image’s alt tag describes its content in more detail. They provide Google the information it needs to determine how relevant an image is to search queries. They also offer useful information to users who may not be able to see the images while browsing, like those using screen readers or those with low-bandwidth internet connections.
Images Should Be Relevant to the Page
Displaying images that are irrelevant to a specific page’s content can be just as confusing for search engines as it is for users. Google recommends adding “good, descriptive titles and captions for your images” and placing it near relevant text.
Use Schema Markups
Using schema markups on your page and its different elements provides even more information to help Google determine their relevance to search queries and offer detailed snippets to searchers. Using ImageObject markups can let search engines know a lot more about an image, such as location, photographer, date taken, and copyright information. If you aren’t familiar with schema markups, it’s best to find a search engine optimization service provider that does.
Have Unique Images
Matt Cutts said that using stock photos on your website don’t have a negative effect on rankings “to the best of his knowledge,” but he also said that it is a “great suggestion for a future signal that we could look at in terms of search quality.” He goes on to mention that maybe “original image sites might be higher quality, whereas sites that just repeat the same stock images over and over again might not be nearly as high quality.”
Stock photos can be useful in many instances, but many low-quality or spammy websites are guilty of using and abusing stock photos in their designs, blog posts, and articles. Having unique, high quality photos helps your website stand out in image search, and helps convince users that your website is trustworthy.
Talk to us if you need someone to go over your website’s different aspects, including its images, and improve its SEO.